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Beijing Day 2 :SUMMER PALACE and TEMPLE of HEAVEN.

Beijing Travel Blog

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Summer Palace,the long corridor,a covered walkway of 800 yards long with over 10 000 traditional paintings

TO DAY LEAVING FOR A WHILE THE POLLUTED ATMOSPHERE OF BEIJING,WE ARE GOING TO THE COUNTRYSIDE TO VISIT THE SUMMER PALACE.IT IS A 15 KM DRIVE NORTHWEST FROM CENTRAL BEIJING.UNFORTUNATELY,IN THE BUS PARK,GETTING OFF THE BUS,WE HAD AN ATROCIOUS VISION OF A MAN HALF-NAKED ,DISFIGURED BY THIRD DEGREE BURNS,HIS ARMS JOINED TO THE THORAX BY LARGE CICATRICIAL BRIDLES AND HIS FOREARMS JOINED TOGETHER BY THE SCARS.HE WAS PROBABLY BURNED BY BOILING LIQUID OR MELTING METAL.WE WERE ALL DISTRESSED EVEN ME WHO,AS A MEDICAL MAN,GET USED TO TERRIBLE SITUATIONS.I REMEMBER, AS IT WAS YESTERDAY, THIS DREADFUL VISION.

WE ENTER THE SUMMER PALACE,CALLED BY THE CHINESE THE GARDEN OF RESTFUL PEACE,CONSTRUCTED IN THE JIN DYNASTY(1115-1234) AND CONTINUOUSLY EXTENTED, AT THE SOUTH GATE ,NOT TOO FAR FROM THE 17-ARCH BRIDGE .

Summer Palace,the corridor features a quartet of double-eave octagonal pavilions symbolizing each a season.
THE SUMMER PALACE IS THE ARCHETYPAL CHINESE GARDEN WITH MAGNIFICENT BUILDINGS AND GRACEFUL LANDSCAPES,IT COVERS AN AREA OF NEARLY 300 HECTARES CONSISTING FOR ITS THREE QUARTERS OF WATER(COMPOSED MAINLY OF THE KUNMING LAKE),A MOUNTAINOUS PART(THE LONGEVITY HILL) AND BETWEEN THE TWO,A FLAT LAND WITH EXQUISITE ARCHITECTURE.

I DON'T WANT TO DESCRIBE THERE THE DIFFERENT AREA'S BUILDINGS SUCH AS TEMPLES,HALLS,BRIDGES,TOWERS,PAVILIONS...THERE ARE ONLY 3000!!!BUT ONLY TWO:THE LONG CORRIDOR AND THE MARBLE BOAT.

THE LONG CORRIDOR IS A COVERED WALKWAY MORE THAN 700 METERS LONG RUNNING ALONG KUNMING LAKE TO THE HARBOUR AND MARBLE BOAT.IT IS RICHLY DECORATED ON EACH CROSSBEAM,PILLAR,CEILING WITH PAINTINGS (MORE THAN 10000!!!) DEPICTING 5000 YEAR OF CHINESE HISTORY,CLASSICAL LITTERATURE,BUILDINGS AND LANDSCAPES.

Summer palace,Marble boat built whith funds diverted from the Imperial Navy by Empress Cixi!
IT WAS BURNT BY THE ANGLO-FRENCH ALLIED FORCES IN 1860 DURING THE SECOND OPIUM WAR AND REBUILT 25 YEARS LATER.

FIRST BUILT IN 1755,BURNT IN 1860 BY ANGLO-FRENCH FORCES,THIS BOAT 36 METERS LONG  WITH A 2 STORIES SUPERSTRUCTURE OF WOOD  BUT PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE MARBLE, WAS RESTORED BY THE EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI,  WHO  FOR RESTORING THE SUMMER PALACE, SO THE MARBLE BOAT,DIVERTED FUNDS ORIGINALLY EARMARKED FOR BUILDING UP A NEW MODERN CHINESE NAVY!I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT TO YOU THAT ,SHORTLY AFTER THE RESTORATION COMPLETED,THE CHINA FLEET WAS DESTROYED IN A NAVAL COMBAT WITH JAPANESE!CLOSE TO THE MARBLE BOAT IS THE HARBOUR FOR DRAGON BOATS,ONE OF THESE TOOK US FROM THERE TO THE GATE.

 

WE HAD LUNCH IN A FINE TRADITIONAL RESTAURANT WITHOUT A STORE(I AM SORRY ABOUT THE FACT THAT DURING OUR TRIP,WE ATE MOSTLY IN RESTAURANTS FOR FOREIGNER TOURISTS SEEMING LIKE A SCHOOL CANTEEN BUT ALL WITH ONE OR SEVERAL STORES!).

Temple of Heaven:the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
THIS RESTAURANT WAS WELL SITUATED CLOSE TO A "HEALTH CENTER"(see the pic).AFTER LUNCH,WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN LOCATED IN SOUTHEAST BEIJING.IT IS THE PLACE WHERE THE EMPEROR (IN ANCIENT CHINA HE WAS REGARDED AS THE SON OF HEAVEN) CAME EVERY YEAR TO WORSHIP HEAVEN AND TO PRAY FOR A GOOD HARVEST.COMING BY THE SOUTH GATE,WE FOUND FIRST THE ALTAR OF HEAVEN OR CIRCULAR MOUND,THE ECHO WALL AND IMPERIAL VAULT OF HEAVEN,THEN THE MAGNIFICENT HALL OF PRAYER FOR GOOD HARVESTS.AS THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN HAS BEEN CONVERTED INTO A PARK,IT IS VERY POPULAR WITH LOCALS WHO COME EVERY MORNING FOR DOING GYMNASTICS,TAI CHI AND LATER GATHER TO SING,PLAY MUSIC OR GAMES,DANCE..DANIELLE AND BARIZA,A NURSE FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE HAVE ENJOYED TO SING WITH THE LOCALS IN THE HALLWAY.

AFTER THE SONGS,THE PARTY HAD A TEA TASTING IN A CLOSE STORE.

Beijing Opera
DRINKING NO TEA,I HAD ALL THE TIME TO  ADMIRE THE BUSINESS'S SKILFULNESS OF THE CHINESE WHO,WITHOUT HASSLE,ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BUY MORE.

BEFORE OUR DINNER WE HAD A LOOK AT THE LIULICHANG STREET,A PLACE FAMOUS FOR ITS PAINTINGS,INK STONES AND INK,CALLIGRAPHY AND ANCIENT BOOKS.

IN THE EVENING, WE HAD A BEIJING OPERA PERFORMANCE.THE BEIJING OPERA COMBINES ACTING,DANCING,SINGING,ACROBATICS.

 

 

 

 

reikunboy says:
great blog and amazing photos, love the chinese architecture
Posted on: Jan 23, 2009
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photo by: Deats